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Graduates look West for jobs
Updated: 2004-10-02 10:40

"To work where my motherland needs me," a slogan once used to inspire high-spirited young people, is back in fashion on Chinese campuses, said Lin Huiqing, an educational official.

At the beginning of this year, Lin and her colleagues were worried about employment pressure brought by 2.8 million university students who will finish their schooling by this September. However, the average employment rate reached 73 percent, three percentage points higher than last year, somewhat easing officials' worries.

Even more pleasing to Lin is that voluntary service has become the first choice of many students. In the national voluntary service program for the western part of the country, a total of 6,212 new members were recruited from universities, 4,000 more than last year.

In the meantime, 18 provinces and cities launched local voluntary service programs with 70 million yuan (US$8.43 million) investment, sending 6,939 campus volunteers into the fields of agriculture, education, health and poverty relief in underdeveloped areas.

According to Lin, the employment trend this year showed several other positive signs.

The employment rate of senior professional students was six percentage points higher than that of the same period last year. Students choosing privately owned companies accounted for 48 percent of those finding jobs.

Graduates with professional knowledge backgrounds such as road and bridge engineering, irrigation and electrical engineering had no difficulty finding good jobs, Lin said.

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